13 Ways to Speed Up Cloud Hosted WordPress Site

by Mustaasam Saleem  October 25, 2017

Unlike shared hosting, cloud hosting is a different kind of hosting. It works based on a network of servers. The network has multiple machines, and they are often pulled from various data centers in different locations. For websites hosted on a cloud platform, it is essential that they are optimized for best performance.

Improving your website’s speed is something you should worry about the most when optimizing your site, and there are many tools you can use to improve its speed!

Increasing the speed of a WordPress site is not much different than the process used for optimizing the speed of a website hosted on a shared or a dedicated server. For that reason, you might find some of the tools like Breeze mentioned below as being similar to what you were doing to your shared website.

fast wordpress website

Why Should You Care About Your WordPress Website Speed

If your admin panel is not working properly, it will affect your work and your time efficiency when managing the website, and your dashboard might become difficult to handle.

Besides that, visitors won’t wait for your website to load either. If something is not working as they want it to, they’ll go away. And worse, many of them won’t ever come back.

A study by Akamai in 2009 says that 47 percent of the visitors expect a page to load within two seconds or less. If the web page takes more than three seconds to load, 40 percent of the visitors will leave the website. Furthermore, a one-second delay can produce a 7 percent reduction in conversions.

If you’re not convinced yet, Dave Artz from AOL demonstrated in this study that page views drop off as page load times increase.

What to Do For a Faster WordPress Site?

It is not necessary to try all of these solutions simultaneously for a faster WordPress website. Depending on your requirements, you can choose to use only a few of them.

So here we go!

1. Ask Your Cloud Hosting Provider

Before starting to take any actions, it’s recommended to ask your hosting provider about their product. They can give you some tips and ideas on how to make your WordPress site faster. This will help you in spending less time looking for options yourself for boosting your WordPress site speed.

A basic WordPress site hosted on Cloudways and Breeze installed can be loaded in just 143 ms.

2. Install a Specialized Caching Plugin

One of the most popular methods to increase the speed of your site is using a caching plugin. A caching plugin will store the final view of your site for any future visitors. This means that your WordPress won’t have to generate it for every following person viewing the site. This data can include HTML, JS and CSS code, images, fonts and Flash files.

Breeze improves the user experience of your site by increasing the performance of a WordPress site, reducing the download times and providing one-click content delivery network integration.

Breeze is a Hassle-Free WordPress cache plugin that takes away the complexities of top-rated caching plugins.

 

Features:

  • Compatible WordPress, WooCommerce and WordPress Multisite.
  • Minification
  • Gzip Compression
  • Supports Varnish
  • Browser caching
  • Grouping of static files
  • Database Optimization
  • File Exclusions

 

But, before choosing and installing a plugin by yourself, ask your hosting provider for their recommendations to see if they prefer a particular caching plugin.

[Read: Best WordPress Caching Plugins]

3. Content Delivery Network won’t Disappoint You

A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is also another important option for speeding up your WordPress site. The main feature of a CDN is a better loading time for your website, no matter what kind of site you run.

There are some great options you could try, like CloudwaysCDN, CloudFlare, and jsDelivr.

CloudwaysCDN is easy to use CDN that provides one-click integration with your WordPress site at the cost of only $1/25GB/month.

 

Features:

  • HTTPs Supported
  • Single-Click Integration
  • Affordable
  • Global Reach

CloudFlare offers a basic free plan performance that includes fast site performance, stats about your visitors and security protection. CloudFlare uses a technology called Anycast, that will route your visitors to the nearest data center. It operates in more than 28 data centers around the globe.

Features:

  • Mobile optimization
  • A global network to serve fast DNS
  • Analytics of your website traffic
  • Apps for a faster, safer and one-click simpler site

jsDelivr is a free product that allows any developer to host their files, such as CSS, JavaScript, jQuery plugins, and fonts. CloudFlare and MaxCDN support it.

4. Look for Inactive Plugins or for Plugins that Don’t Work Properly

Another solution for a faster WordPress site is by verifying if your current plugins are working correctly. Everyone uses various plugins and tools for various needs. They sometimes cause lag in your website, rendering it slow to load. You might give it a try and see how fast they are working.

To do the tests, you can get another plugin. It’s called the Query Monitor. This plugin is free and once installed, it will report any performance problems with your website.

If there are plugins that slow down your website, remove them or try to find alternatives.

Also, keeping a large number of active plugins will affect your WordPress site speed as well.

5. Compress Media Files

Uploading very large images and videos will significantly slow your WordPress site down. For that reason, another solution to improve your website’s speed is to compress your media files.

There’s a free plugin for WordPress that can reduce all your images’ dimensions automatically, so there’s no need to do this repeatedly for each picture. Alternatively, you can also try out WP Smush – an excellent image optimization plugin by folks at WPMU Dev.

In short, smaller files will allow your pages to load better.

6. Compress Your WordPress site’s Size

The smaller your website size is, the faster it will load.

GZip compression can reduce the size of your website content by about 70 percent. A website, after being compressed, loads faster due to the reduction in bandwidth.

GZip compression can be done by simply installing and activating Breeze WordPress cache plugin.

7. Check if the Website and the Database are in the Same Data Center

Another important thing is to check if your WordPress site and the database are located in the same data center. The proximity is always important when talking about hosting and servers. Having the website and its database in the same data center is a good thing for the website performance. This will make fetching posts and work with the database much easier and smoother.

To find out the location of your server, you should ask your hosting providers. Sometimes, companies show their server locations during the sign-up process too.

[Check: Cloudways Cloud Hosting Platform’s Datacenter Location]

8. Optimize Your WordPress site’s Homepage

Another thing you can do to make your WordPress site load faster is to optimize your homepage. Make it look simpler, without clustered content and useless widgets or tools.

Also, don’t show the posts at their full length. You can show only the first paragraph or a specific excerpt from the text. Displaying too many posts on the same page could cause a longer loading time as well.

The cleaner your homepage is, the quicker it will load.

9. Update Update Update

Keep your WordPress updated at all times. Whether it is a plugin or a theme, keep in mind that they stay up to date at all times. If there is a new patch available, try to test each update on a WordPress staging site before applying it on a live site.

10. Disable Hotlinking

Hotlinking is a term used when one website uses another’s resources. For example, if someone has copied an image from your site, once his website is loaded, it loads the image from your website. This means that it is consuming bandwidth and resources from your server.

In simpler words, you can say that hotlinking is a clunky bandwidth “killer”.

To avoid such hijacking, you just need to put below lines in your WordPress .htaccess file

As you can see that we’ve excluded Feedburnerimages so that they can appear correctly in your live feeds.

11. Minify JavaScript and CSS Files

If you test your WordPress website with Google PageSpeed Insights or ySlow, you’ll be prompt up with a warning to minify JavaScript and CSS files. That means you need to reduce JS and CSS calls to reduce server response time and minify file sizes. By reducing them, you’ll observe site-loading speed becomes much faster than before. This will eventually help you to save bandwidth usage.

There are many ways to minify. You can do it manually or by using a WordPress cache plugin “Breeze”. However, there are other plugins too like Autoptimize.

12. Use Light Weight Theme

There are many shiny and beautiful themes in WordPress market. But don’t forget, themes with a lot of dynamic content, widgets, slider, sidebar, etc., can cause your hosting server to respond slowly.

Always optimize WordPress theme or use a lightweight WordPress theme. The default WordPress themes can be enough if you want to run a blogging website. For more features, you can use themes that are built on Bootstrap and Foundation.

13. Control Post Revisions

No doubt, post revision is a great feature in WordPress. But, not every feature is feasible to everyone. There are few users with low disk and database space.

In post revisions, every time you change the content, a new copy of the post is saved in the database rather deleting the previous one. So that you can always have a chance to revert. It increases the database size, and large size database can cause many problems.

You can limit the frequency to autosave a post. From root folder of your WordPress installation, open wp-config file with any file editor and write any of the below code before the code require_once(ABSPATH . 'wp-settings.php');

Limit Post Revision:

It will limit the number of revisions to 3. Meaning, your WordPress will confine itself to save only three revisions.

Disable Post Revision:

It will totally disable post revision for your WordPress site. It’s not the best practice to completely disable.

Increase Autosave Interval

You can also set the frequency to autosave a post. 300 seconds means, your post will be autosaved in every 5minutes rather than the default settings.

These are a few of the solutions you can try and implement for improving the speed of WordPress site. If there’s something important I have missed, don’t hesitate to speak up in the comments.

Make Your WordPress Website 100% Faster.

Host it now on Cloudways WordPress Hosting Platform.

About Mustaasam Saleem

Mustaasam is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed WordPress Hosting Platform, where he actively works and loves sharing his knowledge with the WordPress Community. When he is not working, you can find him playing squash with his friends, or defending in Football, and listening to music. You can email him at mustaasam.saleem@cloudways.com

Stay Connected:

You Might Also Like...

  • tokar86a

    I would like to suggest https://cdnsun.com/. They have a lot of data center around the world and it is very cheap.

    • Hi! Good to know about it. Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

  • Hi Ahsan,
    Can this caching plugin supports videos?
    If so, then how can I customize it on my website?

  • Dennis Schengen

    Hi Ashan, interesting article. What software do you use to test the speed of websites? I do know of speed test websites of the likes of http://gtmetrix.com and http://giftofspeed.com but I never see a software tool mentioned anywhere, whichever article I read. Also can’t find any decent one on Google. Is there no software for this?